What do you do when you have a difficult concept to teach your students? Do you give the best possible explanation and then ask if there are any questions? If you’ve tried that method, chances are you’ve been met with a few blank stares.
One strategy we like and use is the teach-back method. The teach-back method is often used in the healthcare setting to check in with patients that they have clearly understood the healthcare professional’s instructions. It’s not used as a test or a quiz, but rather to gauge if the teacher’s explanation was effective and if there are any points that need to be clarified or reemphasized.
You can use this tool in your classes by partnering students in groups of two or three to have them explain or recap any material you have introduced. You might say, “Turn to the person next to you and take turns explaining what we just talked about.”
A few examples:
- When would you use X instead of Y for your search?
- What’s the difference between Database X and Database Y?
- How do you get the full-text of an article?
While students are teaching each other, you can circulate to listen for misconceptions. At the end, you can ask the class for any points of confusion that came up during their discussion, for volunteers to relate their explanations, or for students to then apply the concept to an example.
Have a question you’ve been wanting to ask NLM? If you’re attending the annual meeting of the Medical Library Association this May in Chicago, you can ask your question in person!
NLM will be at booth #326 and you can ask questions, see demonstrations, and learn more about NLM products and services.
Topics in the NLM Theater this year include:
- the new TOXNET(R) interface
- NLM resources for disasters
- PubMed Commons
- PubMed Health
- New digital projects from the History of Medicine Division
- The ACA, Hospital Community Benefit and Needs Assessment: NLM Resources
- My NCBI Update: SciENcv & NIH Public Access
- and more!
To see the full schedule of NLM presentations, see the NLM Technical Bulletin.
From SHIFT’s eLearning blog: Designing for Motivation: Three Theories eLearning Designers Can Use
1) Self-Determination Theory
This theory operates on the premise that learners are motivated by an inner belief that learning, in and of itself, is important. In this theory, learners tend to want some degree of control over their learning experience.
Applied to course design: Provide choices, opportunities to succeed and interaction options.
2) Flow Theory
Student motivation is intrinsic and drives learner behavior.
Applied to course design: Consistent and user-friendly course format; state clear objectives so learner can feel sense of achievement, reduce confusion so students can focus on the essentials.
3) Path-Goal Theory
In this theory, the teacher develops a user-friendly course that provides a path to success. The teacher provides student support and creates opportunities for the student to participate with meaningful content that encourages the student to persevere.
Applied to course design: Provide clear instructions; create a blueprint for students to follow to achieve success.
Read the full article here: http://ow.ly/vyDs5
When designing a class, it’s important to have learning objectives that indicate to the student what they will be expected to learn and how you will assess their achievement. Bloom’s taxonomy is one of the most commonly used methods for writing clear learning objectives and the NTC often refers to it when writing objectives for our own classes.
Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School has designed an interactive online tool based on the updated version of Bloom’s taxonomy to help you choose outcome verbs and match instructional to assessment questions for each level of the pyramid.
Take a minute to explore Bloom’s Taxonomy in Action, and I think you’ll find it useful the next time you are preparing a class.
Bloom’s Taxonomy in Action
And many thanks to a student in one of our classes for alerting us to this great tool!
Setting up a filter from within your My NCBI account can be useful when you want to keep certain options available all the time. In the image below, I am signed into My NCBI and I searched for cystic fibrosis. Notice the filters that display on the right side of the screen. These are all the filters that I previously chose to display…no matter what. The number of results are displayed next to each filter even when there are no results, as with the Arabic filter in the image.
Click on the image to make it larger.
Using your My NCBI account, you can take this one step further and create a custom filter that will always display on the right side when you are logged into your account.
Watch this short video to learn how to create a custom filter.
A recent post from the blog Teacher Thought wrote about using what we know about how the brain thinks to create a more productive learning environment. Here are just a few of the ideas from the post.
1) Learning doesn’t happen in a bubble.
“Learning only occurs when the student can connect new information to old information. Teaching someone how a car works is pointless if they don’t know what a car is.”
From the NTC: This comes out in many of the PubMed core competency discussions we have during PubMed for Trainers. Trainers often include a What is PubMed section in their classes. It’s one thing to know how to use PubMed, but knowing why and when to use PubMed can help students choose the best database to start their research.
2) Create a friendly learning environment
“Neuroscience: The brain feels before it thinks. The amygdala (think fight/flight) receives stimuli 40 milliseconds before the cortex (thinking).
Usable classroom translation: stress impedes learning. Try to connect with your students when they come into your class by making eye contact, greetings, and taking a moment to chat before diving into the lesson.”
From the NTC: If you teach online, there are a few things you can try to create a comfortable environment. 1) Create a discussion forum where students introduce themselves. 2) If you teach a live/synchronous online class, consider using a web cam and use people’s names when they enter the online classroom.
3) Teaching for mastery
“Neuroscience behind it: In order for information to be retained it must make its way from short-term to long-term memory.
Usable classroom translation: Use the arts as a tool to enhance and reinforce learning.”
From the NTC: One trainer recently sang a song in class to help students see the difference between two concepts. Later we overheard a student refer to the song as a way to remember the new concepts.
Read the full post at: http://ow.ly/vdK2g
Watch how to build and focus a PubMed search by using the MeSH database.
Should you start your classes with an icebreaker? Or an opener? And what’s the difference?
I think of icebreakers as a way to create a comfortable and safe atmosphere for the class or a way for participants to learn a bit about who is sharing the class experience with them. An icebreaker is typically not tied to the content of the course and can be especially useful if the class is going to meet several times or work in teams or small groups.
An opener, on the other hand, is relevant to the content and allows for a bit of networking. I like to start classes with openers because they send a message that there will be active participation in the class and prime the participants to start thinking about the subject of the training. As an opener, you might ask participants something such as:
- What question do you most want answered about X today?
- What barriers have you encountered in using X?
- What do you most often use X to do?
- What would you do if X happened?
- What’s your favorite tip for X?
In eliciting responses, you might have your participants jot down their responses first and then share with a neighbor. You might have them write on a sticky note and post it in a shared space and highlight some of the answers together.
There are many ways to engage you participants with an opener, but remember that it should be connected to the content of the session.
Share your best ideas for openers with us on Facebook or Twitter (@nnlmntc)!
You can use the NLM Catalog to create a set of journals to develop a PubMed search. Watch the short video.
Have you heard? We’ve recently announced new class dates for our PubMed for Trainers and PubMed for Librarians classes!
PubMed for Trainers is designed for those who train or will train others to use PubMed. There are 3 online classes followed by an all-day in-person class. Completing the class earns you 15 MLA CE credits and it’s free!
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – June 2014
- Bethesdsa, Maryland – June 2014
- Lincoln, Rhode Island – June 2014
- Minneapolis, Minnesota – July 2014
- Portland, Oregon – September 2014
- Bethesda, Maryland – October 2014
For more information on PubMed for Trainers or to register, please visit our class schedule.
PubMed for Librarians is made up of five 90 minute segments. Each segment is meant to be a stand-alone module and you can determine how many and in what sequence you attend. Classes are free.
The five segments are:
- Introduction to PubMed
- Automatic Term Mapping
- Building and Refining Your Search
- Customization – MyNCBI
You can find out more about each segment or register for classes on our training calendar.
Watch for more class announcements soon.
We hope you’ll join us!